Are you interested in research on relations between urbanization and mobility in rural-urban regions, in the collaborative context of an Innovative Training Network?

The TOD-IS-RUR consortium offers 10 Early Stage Researcher (ESR) positions, with starting dates 01/09/2021 and 01/10/2021.

TOD-IS-RUR is looking for talented and motivated candidates with the skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm to help the Innovative Training Network (ITN) make significant research contributions to the scientific and societal challenge of countering sprawl in Europe. The 9 Beneficiaries and 12 Partner Organizations create a unique platform for 10 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), providing interdisciplinary and intersectoral training to analyze rural-urban place-making and develop novel, context-based planning schemes for rural-urban regions (RURs). The network aims to extend the concept of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) to RURs with a context-based approach, in which interactions between mobility and urbanization are studied in relation to social and environmental qualities. Drawing on a wide range of European RURs and bringing in expertise from urban studies, research and training prepare a new generation of highly-skilled professionals to meet the challenge of sprawl and implement inclusive and sustainable planning schemes for RURs.


  • The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months (i.e., EC funding). In line with university regulations and following a positive evaluation, the host institution may provide additional funding for a maximum of 12 months to complete a doctoral degree.
  • ESRs are offered a competitive salary, plus allowances. Moreover, funding is available for technical and personal skills training and participation in international research events.
  • ESRs will benefit from the designed training program offered by the hosting organizations and the TOD-IS-RUR consortium.
  • ESRs will participate actively in international secondments to other organizations within the TOD-IS-RUR network and in outreach activities targeted at a broad audience.

General requirements

  • You have outstanding academic records.
  • You are interested in interdisciplinary research and have strong analytical skills.
  • You are quality-oriented, conscientious, creative and a team player.
  • You have strong communication skills.
  • Language proficiency: excellent use of English is essential (C1 level minimum). Knowledge of the respective local language (B2 level or more) is required; if necessary, language courses will be offered by the project partners.
  • Master students in their final year may apply. Final selection under the condition of showing transcripts of their master’s degree in July (15th at the latest).

H2020 MSCA eligibility criteria

H2020 MSCA Mobility Rule: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

H2020 MSCA ESR eligibility criteria: Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) must be, at the date of recruitment by the host organization, in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged).

How to apply

  • The closing date for applications is 29 March 2021.
  • Please apply through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform. First complete the eligibility check form. Secondly, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: Motivation letter (max. 2 pages); CV (Europass format, including a list of all countries of residence in the last 4 years); Details of at least two referees or two reference letters; Copies of certificates (Bachelor & Master’s degrees with list of completed modules, English and other language certificates); Work samples (e.g. publications; Master’s thesis summary); List of publications (if any).
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure. The online recruitment event with the shortlisted candidates will be organized in the first week of May.
  • The recruitment process of ESRs within TOD-IS-RUR is in line with the principles set out in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

More information about eligibility criteria and the selection process can be found here.

The overview of the individual ESR PhD positions can be found here.